Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Copyright Infringment of a Recipe?

I came across a post in my favorite forum (the foodie blogroll) about a fellow food blogger Melissa at Alosha's Kitchen having a bad day when it came to her modified recipe of America's Test Kitchen's "perfect potato salad". She was asked to remove the recipe because one she did not ask permission to post it. Now that would be all well and good had she not modified it by more than 4 ingredients. (which she did) Melissa gave them credit because it was their recipe she was inspired by.

Apparently not asking permission was only strike one. She had modified it. She was informed that ATK does not allow modifications to their recipes because they test them until they get them "perfect"!

In her post Melissa talks about some research she did regrading the copyrightablity of a recipe. Below is her take on the two copyright laws that pertain to recipes.

1. A list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted.
This is a point that is not up for debate. Even if it were, I didn't post their list of ingredients. I changed it by 4 ingredients.

2. Directions and methods can only be subject to copyright if they are "substantial literary expression."
And just what is substantial literary expression? Well, luckily (or not), I've read far too much on the subject the last few days and have come up with a pretty decent way to describe it. What it means is that someone has to have verbiage in their directions that is unique or personal. Anything else is public domain. For example, there are only a couple of ways you could say "heat oven to 350°, cook chicken until no longer pink." But if someone said they preferred a certain type of dough, or reminisced about their childhood, or used some really specific personally invented method by which to execute the recipe, then that may be copyrighted as "substantial literary expression."

She also has her correspondence with the ATK Representative. If you are interested in reading her entire post please visit her post illegal or not? You will enjoy I did. She has more patience than I would have.

Also let me know your thoughts on the subject of copyrights and blogging!

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Bennigans Closes Their doors!

I just saw that Bennigans has closed it's doors. The parent company filed for bankruptcy. Now it was never a gourmet for fancy schmancy restaurant. but I love their potato soup and Monte Cristo sandwiches. I will try to find their recipe for those that will miss it as much as me!

Here is of more info from CNN

Restaurant chains Bennigan's and Steak & Ale have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and will shut their doors, less than two months after their parent company said it was not preparing to do so.

The companies filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday in the Eastern District of Texas. Their parent company - privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group - is based in Plano, Texas.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, a company seeks to liquidate its assets and shut down. Restaurant chains Bennigan's and Steak & Ale have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and will shut their doors, less than two months after their parent company said it was not preparing to do so.

The companies filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday in the Eastern District of Texas. Their parent company - privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group - is based in Plano, Texas.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sneak Peek of Big Daddy's House with Aaron McCargo Jr.

OK this less of a sneak peek than it is an interview with Aaron Adam Roberts the Amateur Gourmet. I am looking forward to Aaron's new Show Big Daddy's House airing on Sundays at 12:30 EST. Best of luck to you Aaron, keep up the good work and keep us entertained with your personality and big bold flavors!

Related Posts
Big Daddy's House Premire

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Jerk Rib-Eye with Honey Glazed Plantains and Sauteed Collard Greens

As you all know aaron won The Next Food Network Star. Below is his winning recipe which I am definatly going to make in the vwery near future.

Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo, Jr.
See this recipe on air Thursday Jul. 31 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Show: The Next Food Network Star
Episode: Finale

1 (12-ounce) rib-eye steak
Jerk seasoning, recipe follows
Plantains, recipe follows
Collard Greens, recipe follows

Preheat grill or grill pan on high heat.

Rub jerk seasoning on steak. Place steak in a plastic bag to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. After marinating for 1 hour, remove steak from refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes. Grill steak for 12 minutes (6 minutes on each side). Remove from grill with tongs and let rest for 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with plantains and collard greens.

Jerk seasoning:
1 tablespoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients with 2 tablespoons of canola oil.

Canola oil
1 ripe plantain
4 ounces butter
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh scallions
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Preheat a medium frying pan and coat with canola oil. Slice plantains on bias, then saute until brown. Mix in butter and scallions. Then remove from the heat. Stir in honey and parsley with a large spoon.

Collard greens:
12 ounces fresh collard greens, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion Crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Wash collard greens thoroughly. In a medium stock pot, place collards in hot water for 3 minutes, remove and drain.

In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, then add onions and crushed red pepper, saute. Then add collards and chicken stock to saute pan. Cook on high heat, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Big Daddy's House Premire

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Next Food Network Star - Winner is Aaron McCargo Jr.

The final episode of The Next Food Network Star just finished. We have a winner, Aaron McCargo Jr which is one of the two I wanted to win. First though lets go over what happened in the rest of the show.

The final challenge was the audition to end all auditions. Each finalist had to make a four and a half minute pilot episode for their possible show. They worked on Rachael Ray's set with a full crew including one of the better producers on the network Gordon Elliot.

Each finalist had several takes and each made mistakes. However each nailed their final take and had excellent pilots. Lisa's was "Beautiful Basics", she did a great job in allowing her designer side show and make feel like you could watch her each week.

Aaron's show was or will be "Big Daddy's Kitchen" which fits him well. His big and bold flavors shined in his pilot. He was funny and just looked comfortable. This is the Aaron the selection committe and myslef wanted to see all season long.

Adam is "Always Hungry in Philidelphia", not a real orginal name but it worked. His idea was to take viewers recipes and show them via a webcam his version. He was also answering questions from the chosen viewer for his pilot. On a side note I had a feeling he was not going to win when he first pitched this idea to Gordon. Simply because Food Network has been promoting their new show Ask Aida which seems to be a very similar idea. Maybe they liked Adam's idea just not him enough to make him the winner. Just my opinion!

Nonetheless Aaron was delcared the winner and already started working on his show due to the fact this was prerecorded. Which makes you wonder why the voting, does it really matter?

Aarons new show Big Daddy's Kitchen airs Sundays at 1:30pm/12:30c starting next week according to Bobby Flay. I will be watching the first episode will you?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brownie Cookies

2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. (1 cup) chopped toasted pecans(optional)

Position an oven rack on the center rung. Heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment (or grease and flour the pan).

In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir to combine; let cool. In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium high to a ribbon consistency, 3 to 4 min. Take the bowl off the mixer. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and the vanilla; stir to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir the flour mixture and the nuts into the batter; let the batter rest for 5 min.

Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip (or into a heavy-duty zip-top bag with one bottom corner snipped to create a 2/3-inch diagonal opening). For each cookie, pipe 1 Tbs. batter onto the lined baking sheet. You can use a spoon or a small ice cream scoop, piping is just easier. While you pipe the second tray, bake the first until the cookies are puffed and cracked and the tops barely spring back when pressed, 8 to 10 min. The cracks should be moist but not wet. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Want to make it even more chocolaty add chocolate chips to the batter before piping.

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Poached Pears in Red Wine with anise and lemon

1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
1 cup sugar1 cup water
6 2x1-inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)
1 1/2 teaspoons aniseed
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 firm but ripe Bosc pears
1 1/2 cups nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt(optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy large pot. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Peel, halve and core pears. Add pears, rounded side down, to cooking liquid. Return cooking liquid to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until pears are tender, basting occasionally with cooking liquid if necessary, about 25 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pears to bowl.

Strain cooking liquid; discard solids. Return cooking liquid to pot. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 12 minutes. Pour syrup over pears. Chill until pears are cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Scoop frozen yogurt onto plates. Place pears on plates. Spoon sauce over pears.

Seared Scallops with Leek Ribbons

1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium leeks (white and light green parts), quartered lengthwise and rinsed
1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)
2 tablespoons pesto (optional)

Rinse the scallops and pat them dry with paper towels. Season them with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out skillet and return to medium-low heat. Add the remaining oil and the leeks and toss. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Return the scallops to skillet to rewarm. If using, squeeze on the lemon juice or spoon the pesto over the top. Transfer to individual plates.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Smoked Pork Chops with Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce

It is kind of strange but the last two episodes a recipe including pork chops has been the favorite dish on The Next Food Network Star. Now I would not be a good Southerner if I did not like pork chops, so do not get me wrong I just find it odd.

Recipe courtesy Adam Gertler
See this recipe on air Thursday Jul. 24 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
The Next Food Network Star
Episode: Ultimate Vegas Buffet

Brine, recipe follows
4 double-cut pork chops, approximately 2 inches thick (about 12 to 14 ounces)
Light olive oil, for brushing
8 cups water, for boiling
Peach bourbon BBQ sauce, recipe follows

Special equipment:
stove top smoker or Weber kettle grill

Once the brine has cooled completely, add the chops and allow to soak for at least 6 but no more than 12 hours. Remove chops from brine just before smoking.

Smoke pork until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or about 1 to 2 hours
Keep grill temperature at approximately 200 to 250 degrees F or pork will overcook. Smoke chops until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. After desired internal temperature is reached, brush chops lightly with oil and grill over hot coals for 1 1/2 minutes; rotate 1/4 turn clockwise and grill 1 minute more to create attractive grill marks. Flip chop and repeat grilling method; the prettier side is the top.

Chops should ultimately reach an internal temperature of 150 to 160 degrees F. If necessary, place chops in 375 degree F oven after grilling to finish cooking. For an extra fancy presentation, pull the pork off the bone, slice into 1/4-inch strips and fan out on the plate.

Brush grilled chops with melted butter and let rest 2 minutes before serving. Place each chop on the plate on a serving plate. Serve with peach bourbon BBQ sauce.

Serving suggestion:

Try adding a starch as an accompaniment: mashed potatoes, stewed white beans, or even steamed brown rice.


8 cups water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
6 cloves fresh garlic, cut in 1/2

In a nonreactive, stainless steel 8-quart saucepan, bring all brine ingredients to a boil and stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Transfer to a 1-gallon plastic or stainless steel container and refrigerate until completely cooled.

Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup minced shallots
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen peaches
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup bourbon whiskey Kosher
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sweat for several minutes until soft. Add peaches, bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken stock. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until thick. Add whiskey, return to simmer, cook for 5 more minutes and remove from the heat. Adjust seasoning and sweetness. Puree mixture with immersion blender or food processor until smooth and thick.

The Next Food Network Star – Episode 9 Finale Sneak Peek!

As promised here is a sneak peak at the final episode of The Food Network Star. I can't wait to see who will win. Will it be Aaron or Lisa. Who knows it could even be Adam.

The Next Food Network Star – Episode 9 Finale Sneak Peek! - kewego
The Next Food Network Star – Episode 9 Finale Sneak Peek! - kewego

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Viva Las Vegas Part II - The Next Food Network Star Episode 8 Update

This week we had some more fun in Las Vegas with the three remaining finalist for the Next Food Network Star. Each had to shoot a pre-written 30 second promo. Lisa did a Mission Impossible style promo. Aaron went to the casino floor to play some craps during his. Last week I was seeing correctly when I saw Adam on stage in a tuxedo with two showgirls. The winner of this challenge was clearly Aaron who looked comfortable in front of the camera once again. I might not have been paying close attention in previous episodes but this week each finalist was beeped several times during their several takes.

The main challenge was to create a Vegas style buffet that was a part of their culinary point of view. We also had some star souse chefs. Shane, Jen, and Kelsey all returned to help the finalists. They drew numbers to choose who they wanted. Lisa worked with Kelsey. (wonder why she did not choose Jen...) Adam chose Shane and poor Jen was picked last just like me in high school. OK not really like me but you get the point. They also had to do a three minute presentation in front of several performers including Diana Ross, Cher (OK they were impersonators) Knights from Spamalot, and chefs from the Wynn hotel.

Aaron for some reason went and made three pasta dishes! He did make a mean crab cake though. His flavors were not as bold as they have been in past episodes. He came out for his presentation and tried to do a joke about an eating disorder he had, which caused him to carry forks around in his pocket since he was a kid. Needless to say he bombed on it the crowd of Vegas performers looked at him and wondered what was going on.

Adam decided to take another big risk and made a smoker out of some woks. Well it paid off and his pork chops were the favorite dish. Susie asked Bobby since he has been a critic of Adam's cooking if Adam's buffet had changed his mind. Bobby said he has not been critical just was not sure if he Adam could cook. Seems a little critical to me...

While shopping Lisa dropped half of her fish and left in in the store on the floor. She did not notice until she went to start cooking it. She also burnt half of her crowned pork rack. She did a poached pear which looked really good. I might have to steal that from her and try it myself. Lisa's Presentation was interesting. Who knew she could sing. She came out and performed for the performers.

During the evaluation the judges could not decide on who should leave. They all have had great positives for them but some negatives as well. They decided the only fair way to do it was to do something they have never had to do in the history of The Next Food Network Star. All three stayed on and will compete at the finale.

Again we are stuck with repeats until next week. I did not catch the sneak peek tonight but will post something about it in the coming days. Until then who is your favorite of the three remaining finalists. Who do you think should win it all and be The Next Food Network Star!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sesame Chicken

I really enjoy some chinese food. Most times I would perfer to go to the local chinese buffet or call up a resturant to get my fix. However there the times I just want to spend the time in the kitchen. Especially if my little girls want to help me cook. They enjoy being in the kitchen sitting on the counter helping stiring or adding spices to the pan. Here is a recipe for some great Sesame Chicken that is just as good or better than the resturant. Enjoy!

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

1 quart of oil for frying
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
Sift flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Pour in low-sodium soy sauce, sherry, 2 tablespoons water, vegetable oil, and a dash of sesame oil; stir until smooth. Stir in chicken until coated with the batter, then cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat.

Dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.

Heat olive oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to a temperature of 375 degrees F. Drop in the battered chicken pieces, a few at a time, and fry until they turn golden brown and float to the top of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. To serve, place fried chicken pieces onto a serving platter, and pour the hot sauce overtop. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Thursday, July 17, 2008

U.S. food agency lifts Salmonella warning on tomatoes

Finally we can enjoy tomatoes without any worrys about getting sick. Below is the article about the lifting of the Salmonella warning from the Washington Post.

All types of fresh tomatoes are safe to eat, federal health officials said yesterday, lifting a six-week-old warning that led restaurants to pull them and triggered tens of millions of dollars in losses for the tomato industry.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still do not know the source of the salmonella that set off the largest outbreak of foodborne illness in a decade. They blame raw jalapeño peppers for some of the cases and have dispatched investigators to a pepper packer in Mexico. Last week, they recommended that the elderly, infants and people with compromised immune systems avoid eating jalapeños as well as serrano peppers.

A total of 1,220 people in the United States and Canada have been sickened since April by Salmonella saintpaul, an unusual strain. While new reports of illness are still coming in, the number of cases appears to be dropping off, after peaking during the last few days of May and the first week of June, the CDC said.

Investigators are now confident that tomatoes associated with the warning -- fresh Roma, red plum and vineless red round tomatoes -- in stores and coming to market, are free of the outbreak strain. The tomatoes are coming from farms that were not harvesting in April when the outbreak began, said David Acheson, a top FDA food safety official. Microbiological testing of more than 1,700 samples of water, soil, tomatoes and other items collected from packing sheds, warehouses and fields in Florida and Mexico also found no trace of the bacteria.

However, FDA and CDC officials have not absolved tomatoes as a possible cause of the outbreak and are considering the possibility that both tomatoes and jalapeños have spread Salmonella saintpaul. For more than a week, investigators have been holding and testing shipments of jalapeños coming from Mexico, the source of most fresh jalapeños that are consumed in the United States.

"It is clear to us tomatoes do not explain all of the clusters, do not explain all of the cases . . . and jalapeño peppers themselves also do not explain all the clusters and all the cases," said Robert Tauxe, a deputy director at the CDC.

Acheson said it is possible that tomatoes tainted with Salmonella saintpaul initially made people sick, then contaminated jalapeños that were grown either on the same farm, or handled in the same packing shed or warehouse.

In tracing the source of tomatoes that sickened people, investigators have found points in the distribution chain where tomatoes and jalapeños crossed paths, Acheson said.
The FDA's decision to lift the tomato warning followed a week of lobbying by tomato growers in the United States and Mexico.

"We have said for some time now that there were not tomatoes in the marketplace from areas that were shipping at the start of the outbreak," said Amy Philpott, a spokeswoman for the United Fresh Produce Association. "We encourage CDC and FDA to complete their investigation of peppers quickly so that either the problem can be identified or, if not, these products can be cleared as well."

The FDA had been gradually clearing tomato-growing regions in the United States and Mexico since it issued the warning June 7. As the weeks passed, however, growers argued the warning was becoming moot because it was no longer possible for areas that were harvesting in April to still be producing tomatoes.

Criticism of the tomato warning intensified as people continued to get sick. Investigators began looking at other potential suspects and turned their attention to cilantro and jalapeño and serrano peppers.

By early July, industry leaders said, the tomato market had collapsed. Even though the FDA had cleared certain tomatoes, which returned to store shelves and restaurant menus after a few days, the warning kept consumers away, spreading financial pain across the industry. Growers in northern Florida, South Carolina and other regions that were bringing tomatoes to market as the warning came down were especially hard hit.

Many tomato growers think tomatoes were never the cause of the outbreak and that the FDA and CDC made a mistake.

"The pace of the trace-back process has been frustratingly slow, and as a result the entire industry has suffered significantly for an outbreak it did not cause," Reggie Brown, executive vice president with the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, said in a statement.

Acheson defended the investigation, saying FDA and CDC officials based their actions on analyses of information collected from people who got sick and people who did not.

"We stand behind that science that sent us on that tomato track to begin with," he said. "At the time, that was the best information we had."

By Annys ShinWashington Post Staff Writer Friday, July 18, 2008; Page D01

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who first inspired you to cook?

We all have our influences in the kitchen. Chefs we are inspired by or try to style our cooking after. The purpose of this post is not to find out who inspires you today, but the first person that got you longing to be in the kitchen.

My mom and grandmothers are who got me to love to cook. I can still smell the food coming from the kitchen. Granted none of them were a gourmet chef, but they can whip up some mean dishes. My mom would now let come over and cook for every night if I could, especially if I am going to either grill or cook one of my recipes. I have been told that when I was little my two favorite TV shows were Dukes of Hazzard and Julia Childs.

Was it your mom, grandmother, or even your dad, that showed you the basics around the kitchen. Also what is your earliest memory of learning how to cook?

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shellfish watermelon ceviche

1 navel orange
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) seeded watermelon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 lb sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled, deveined, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 lb cooked lobster meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 heads Bibb or 2 heads Boston lettuce (1 1/4 lb)

Cut peel and white pith from orange with a sharp paring knife, then cut segments free from membranes. Chop enough segments to measure 1/4 cup. Stir together chopped orange, orange juice, lime juice, watermelon, ginger, onion, jalapeño (to taste), and salt in a large bowl.

Bring a 1-quart saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil, then add scallops. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and poach scallops until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Return water in saucepan to a boil and poach shrimp in same manner. Drain shrimp in a colander and transfer to bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain scallops and shrimp well and pat dry.

Add scallops, shrimp, lobster, and mint to watermelon mixture and toss to combine, then season with salt. Chill ceviche, covered, at least 1 hour.

Trim and separate lettuce leaves. Serve ceviche with lettuce leaves on the side (use a slotted spoon to transfer ceviche to lettuce).

You can use additional shrimp and or scallops instead of lobster if you wish.

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Mini Steak Sandwiches with Horseradish and Tomato

Here is a recipe I had found awhile back for some steak burgers. These were a big hit at my last cookout.

2 strip steaks, grilled (I like mine medium rare) and sliced thinly
2 very ripe plum tomatoes, sliced
1 cup mixed greens
4 ounces horseradish cream cheese
8 small bakery buns, halved and toasted

Smear horseradish cream cheese on both sides of toasted buns. Layer with greens, one or two slices of tomato, and steak slices. Replace tops and serve on a platter or you could wrap them in parchment or waxed paper.

Horseradish cream cheese is a sold at many grocery stores. The creaminess and kick goes great with the strip steaks. If you can't find it you could use a horseradish mayonnaise.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Stuffed Pork - Aaron McCargo, Jr

Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo, Jr.
See this recipe on air Thursday Jul. 17 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
The Next Food Network Star
Episode: Vegas Throwdown

8 ounces hot Italian sausage, without casing
4 (6-ounce) boneless pork chops, center cut Salt and cracked black pepper

1/2 cup onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
1 (16-ounce) bag stuffing, store-bought
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup oil Chipotle Honey Glaze, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saute pan on high heat, brown Italian sausage and drain grease for later use. Set aside.
Make a 1 to 1 1/2-inch wide by 2-inch deep incision into the pork chop and then season with salt and pepper on both sides.

In a large saute pan on medium-high heat; saute onions and celery in sausage grease until brown. Mix into pan: stuffing, apples, and chicken stock with wooden spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Stuff each pork chop with stuffing mixture and then pan sear in hot oil, on each side, for 7 minutes in a large saute pan on medium heat. Place in oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Glaze pork and serve.

Chipotle Honey Glaze:
6 ounces Dijon mustard
2 ounces honey
2 ounces chipotle sauce

In small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until completely incorporated. Brush over cooked pork chops.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Viva Las Vegas - The Next Food Network Star Episode 7 Update

It is that time of the week again and I couldn't be happier. Sunday night The Next Food Network Star's newest episode. My favorite FN Star Paula Deen was in Vegas for a Throwdown Vegas Style.

We had two throwdowns. One between Adam and Lisa and then Aaron and Kelsey in the other. Each finalist had to prepare their signature dish along with the signature dish of their opponent. They also had to recreate it to make it a proper dish for Vegas. On top of that they had questions from the judges as well as an interview from Dayna Devon of Extra. Oh and all in 75 minutes!

Adam's dish was Mac and Cheese, while Lisa made her Cassoulet. Now I love mac and cheese as much as the next person but a signature dish come on. Adam went with making a Lobster Mac, which everyone loved. Paula even went on to say she does not like any Lobster Mac she has ever eaten. However she loved Adam's. Lisa rocked her Cassoulet which she added Duck Confit to. Again every one enjoyed it. However neither fared well when cooking their opponent's dish. Adam made a bean porridge instead of Cassolet, and Paula "Hated" Lisa's Mac and Cheese.

Aaron had his stuffed Pork Loin and Kelsey made her Chicken Parmesan. Aaron wanted to get his Pork done before working on the Chicken. He got down to 18 minutes left and got a look from Lisa, that reminded him he had yet to start the chicken. Some how he pulled it off. Everyone liked both of his dishes and he did okay on the interview. He still needs to work on his cooking and talking at the same time. Nonetheless Aaron won this challenge.

Kelsey on the other had mentioned culinary school again which is really eating away at the judges especially Bob Tuschman. Her dishes were a surprise to the judges because they both looked like restaurant style plating. Paula also had a problem with small portion sizes, and said her Chicken Parmesan would be fit as an appetizer. Her pork was over done and her Chicken looked almost separate from the Marinara sauce.

Now I know everyone has been saying that Kelsey was the girl they judges had picked from the beginning to win. Well they were all wrong. Kelsey was sent home tonight. She did leave with grace and dignity saying the final three are the ones who belong there. She was very happy for her experience.

Next week it looks like another favorite star will be there in Vegas. Guy Fieri will be a guest judge. Also I think I saw Adam on stage in a tux with some showgirls. Did I see that right. What could the challenge be?

What are your thoughts on Kelsey leaving? Who is going to leave next? Share your thoughts and ideas with me so we can see how close we get!

Until next week I am stuck watching the repeats!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yakatori Don

One of the most popular dishes in Japan. The tasty ginger and rice wine marinade can be used for meat or fish. This recipe can also be made on the grill using the marinade as a basting sauce.

3 pound chicken, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons white sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
2 tablespoons Sesame or Peanut Oil

Rinse chicken, and pat dry. In a glass baking dish or bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, sake and mirin. Place the chicken into the mixture to marinate. Refrigerate, covered for several hours, or overnight. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken pieces into the pan skin-side down, reserving marinade. Cook until light brown, then flip and brown the other side. Drain off grease, and pour the marinade into the pan. Cover, and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking, shaking the skillet occasionally, until marinade has evaporated. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

Bananas Foster

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bananas peeled, halved, and cut lengthwise
1/4 cup dark rum
Ice cream, optional
Pound cake, optional

In a large skillet, melt butter. Using a wooden spoon, add brown sugar and stir together. Add the bananas and cook until caramelized on both sides, over medium-high heat. Move pan off heat, add the rum and return to the stove to catch a flame from the gas stove or a long lighter. Stand back when ignited and flambe the bananas. Be careful a flame will shoot up above the pan. Let flame die down and the alcohol cook out.

Serve bananas over vanilla ice cream and/or a slice of pound cake.

Andouille Sausage and Shrimp with Creole Mustard Sauce

1 pound uncooked peeled deveined large shrimp
1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound andouille sausage, cut crosswise on diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
5 tablespoons Creole mustard (such as Zatarain's)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Toss shrimp with Creole seasoning in medium bowl to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add sausage pieces, cut side down. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to bowl. Add shrimp to skillet; cook until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, and thyme to skillet. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broth, mustard, and vinegar. Stir until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Return sausage and shrimp to skillet. Simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over White or Brown Rice

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Next Food Network Star- Season 5 Casting Call

To be the Next Food Network Star? Well, if you do, Food Network is currently casting for Season 5! All you have to do is submit an email with your name, contact information and why you should be the Next Food Network Star. All entries should be sent to NFNS5@foodnetwork.com.

In the meantime, catch up with the finalists from previous seasons. What are they up to since competing for the dream job of their own show on Food Network?

'Western Spaghetti' by Pes

Here is an interesting video from the amazing stop-motion artist Pes (Adam Pesapane) shows us how in his short film Western Spaghetti, which uses inedible items, including Rubik's cube "garlic," pick-up sticks "spaghetti," and Post-it note "butter." Watch the video after the jump.


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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I need and want your help!

As you can tell this is a fairly new blog. However I have been around blogs before. I want to make this a great food blog from the begining. I want your advice and input on what should be a part of The Tattooed Gourmet.

What kind of recipes would you like to see? Is there a particular type of cuisine you are interested in?

I also want to let you share your recipes. If you have a recipe that you feel would be a good fit for this site please share it with me. Email me at BTaylor96(at)cfl.rr(dot)com
Also for my fellow food bloggers if you have a recipe or random post you feel would be a good fit for The Tattooed Gourmet please email me at BTaylor96(at)cfl.rr(dot)com or comment a post with the details. You will have full credit with links to your blog set as you like.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shane Lyons, The Next Food Network Star Contestant

This a Meet & Eat from the folks behind Serious Eats

Name: Shane Lyons
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation: Cook

Favorite comfort food? I LOVE Buffalo wings with thick and stinky blue cheese.

Guilty pleasures? Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Buns ice cream.

What food won't you eat? Soy butter.

What would you like to try but haven't yet? Haggis.

Favorite food person? Alton Brown.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater?
I was 8-years-old and about 90 pounds. I realized I was the only one in the family that went back for more than two helpings at dinner.

What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions?
They often get to reap the benefits by eating what I make.

Everyone has that one person they call when they need a restaurant recommendation. Who do you call?
If I am on the East Coast, I call a good friend of mine from culinary school, Nate Auchter. The man is on point when it comes to good food.

And what's the best recommendation they've ever given you?
Jean Georges's 66 in New York. One of the best meals I have ever had. (Editor's Note: The restaurant has since closed.)

What is your favorite meal of the day (eg., lunch, dinner), what's your go-to spot for that meal and what do you usually order?
Dinner is my favorite meal to eat. I love Front Range BBQ in Colorado Springs (the pulled pork sandwich is on point).

Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make?
I cook all day long at the restaurant, and try to make every dish that goes out the best it can possibly be.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mahi Mahi with Charred Onion, Tomatoes, and Tapenade Vinaigrette


1 medium red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounces) skinless mahimahi fillets (1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons black or green tapenade (olive paste)
Accompaniment: plain or parmesan couscous or white rice


Preheat broiler and line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Toss onion and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in lined baking pan, then spread evenly in one half of pan.Pat fish dry and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, then arrange, skinned side down and spaced apart, next to vegetables in other half of pan.

Drizzle fish with 1 tablespoon oil and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until vegetables are charred and slightly wilted and fish is just cooked thourough, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, tapenade, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Serve fish and vegetables over couscous. Stir pan juices into vinaigrette and drizzle on top.

Black Pepper Roasted Duck Breasts with Grilled Plums


4 12-to 14-ounce boneless Muscovy duck breast halves trimmed of excess fat
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
6 firm but ripe Santa Rosa plums or other purple plums, halved, pitted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Using sharp knife, score skin of duck breasts in crisscross pattern (cut skin only; do not cut through meat), spacing cuts 1 inch apart. Sprinkle duck breasts on both sides with 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Toss plum halves, olive oil, sugar, 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Grill plum halves, cut side down, until grill marks appear and plums begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Turn plums over and grill, skin side down, until skin begins to soften but plums still retain their shape, about 4 minutes. Transfer plums to bowl. Cover with foil and let stand while cooking duck.

Heat 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Add 2 duck breasts, skin side down, to each skillet. Cook until skin is crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Turn duck breasts over and cook to desired doneness, about 8 minutes longer for medium-rare. Remove from heat and let duck rest 5 minutes.

Thinly slice duck crosswise. Divide among plates. Place 2 plum halves alongside each serving. Drizzle any plum juices from bowl over. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons thyme and serve.

Ingredient tip: We use Muscovy duck breasts in this recipe because they are tender and full-flavored. Look for them fresh or frozen at some supermarkets or order them at dartagnan.com.

Taste Book

If you've ever wished your online recipe collection wasn't chained to your computer, there's a new service that might help.

The recently launched TasteBook Web site (
http://www.tastebook.com/) turns digital recipe boxes into ring-bound custom cookbooks. Still in its infancy, the site has limited application at the moment. But it does have great potential.

For now, TasteBook is linked with the culinary Web site
Epicurious.com, which means users can import recipes and photos from that site's tremendous database (drawn from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines).

Tastebook. Make a personal cookbook. Save 20%.

Users also can add their own recipes to TasteBook accounts, then add them to their books, which cost $34.95 for 100 recipes.

Once users select their recipes (except for personal recipes, everything is drag-and-drop) and cover art, the attractive and sturdy books are printed and delivered in about a week.
Recipes are limited to those on
Epicurious.com or those whose users are willing to type in manually. The company promises that in 2008 users will be able to link to numerous other online recipe sources

Hurry and take advantage of TasteBooks Sale where you can create a
personal cookbook and save 20% at TasteBook.com

The Next Food Network Star - Update Episode 6

Episode 6 of The Next Food Network Star was somewhat interesting. As I told you last week the finalists created a 4 minute demo for the Rachael Ray Show. They also had to create a dish for a Girl Scout that was to be their partner. Most did a good job on camera and involving their girl scout.

Aaron, was the most improved, he let the real Aaron out this week. He made a Broccoli Burger pizza that actually looked good and the judges enjoyed.

Kelsey thought that having Rachael cook was showing authority. As Bobby Flay said "Cook your eggs yo!" At the end of the show she was one of the two that could have possibly gone home.

Lisa started strong but almost gave up. Now some are saying it was edited that way; to make her look like she failed. However trying to get her girl scout to try Couscous and actually enjoying it was enough to keep her around.

Adam may not have won the challenge but showed he is comfortable on camera. He also engaged his Girl Scout, and he made what seemed to be a good, kid-friendly meal. However again his cooking skills were brought into question. Yet he was the second chosen to continue on.

Shane pretty much ignored his Girl Scout. He is defiantly technically skilled, but not engaging enough. He was asked what it is about the french he loves, and his answer was the french lifestyle. He then went on to say he had never been to France to be a part of the lifestyle he loves. He has studied and read about it only. His lack of life and culinary experience was his downfall this week.

Next Sunday we have Aaron, Adam, Lisa and Kelsy in Las Vegas for a throw-down. It also looks like may favorite FN Star Paula Deen will be there as well! I can't wait.

How many actually enjoy watching this as much as I do? Who do you think will be the Next Food Network Star?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Chile-Coconut Tomato Salad

Pork Tenderloin:
2 pork tenderloins,
1 1/2 to 2-pounds total Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lime, juiced

Chile-Coconut Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped into small pieces
1 fresh red jalapeno, cut into rounds
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon sugar 1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon fish sauce (recommended: Nam pla)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stems from 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro

Put the pork on a platter and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and lime juice and turn to coat the pork with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.

For the Chile-Coconut Sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chile and cook to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, and sugar and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and season with fish sauce, and salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. Add cilantro stems and puree using an immersion blender or blender.

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill. Blot some oil onto a thick square of paper towel and then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a non-stick surface. Put the pork on the grill and cook, turning to brown all sides, until crusty on the outside and almost cooked through but still slightly pink in the center, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes.

To serve, slice the pork and add it to the bowl with the tomato salad. Pour over the chile-coconut sauce and toss it all together.

Chile-Coconut Tomato Salad:

1 1/2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut 2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes, cut into big chunks (variety of colors purple, yellow, bright red) 1/2 small red onion, slivered 1 fresh red jalapeno, thinly sliced Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro Handful fresh mint leaves Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Extra-virgin olive oil 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spread the coconut out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake, shaking every now and then for even cooking, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

In a big bowl, toss together the tomatoes, red onion, chile, cilantro, mint, and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil or with some remaining Chile-Coconut Sauce and fold in the toasted coconut and scallions.

Summer Cocktails - Yankee Doodle and Patriotic Punch

Yankee Doodle

1 part UV Blue Raspberry flavored vodka
2 parts sour
1 part tonic

Pour vodka, sour and tonic into a rocks glass over ice. Stir and serve.

Patriotic Punch

1 part UV Red Cherry-flavored vodka
3 parts lemonade

Pour the ingredients into a rocks glass over ice. Stir and serve.

Summer Cocktails - Bacardi Mojito

1 part BACARDI® Rum
3 parts Club Soda
12 Mint Leaves
1/2 Lime
1/2 Part Sugar

Place 12 mint leaves, 1/2 part sugar and 1/2 lime in a glass. Muddle well with a pestle. Add BACARDI, top off with club soda, stir well and garnish with sprigs of mint or a lime wheel.

Smothered Filet Mignon

A great combination of flavors. Serve with some mashed garlic red potatoes and sweetened green beans for a fabulous special occasion meal. Don't forget to serve a bottle of Cabernet or Zinfandel!

4 (6 ounce) filet mignon steaks
seasoned salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups onion slices
1 teaspoon white sugar
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Season steaks with seasoned salt and black pepper, and arrange in a single layer in a large baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and rosemary. Pour mixture over filets, and turn to coat. Marinate for up to 30 minutes.

While you are marinating the meat, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion slices in butter until soft, then stir in sugar. Continue cooking until onions are caramelized. Set aside.

Preheat grill for high heat on one side, and medium heat on the other side.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Place steaks on the hot side of the grill, and cook for 10 minutes, turning once. When the steaks are almost done, move to the cooler side of the grill. Top each filet with a quarter of the caramelized onions and blue cheese. Close the lid, and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.

Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub

This recipe is from Kalyn's Kitchen. Kalyn blog is about the combining her love for delicious food with a commitment to healthy, lower glycemic eating. She shares her recipes and kitchen secrets that helped her lose over 40 pounds on the South Beach Diet. Not only does she enjoy cooking but loves to garden and grows her own fresh herbs.

Below is a recipe for a Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub she created with the inspiration from Pride of Szeged Chicken Rub

Makes about four cups

1 1/2 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup dried thyme
1/2 cup dried parsley
1/3 cup onion powder
1/3 cup rubbed sage
1/3 cup dried rosemary (use cracked rosemary, or see note below)
4 T sweet paprika (I like Penzeys)
4 T cayenne pepper (or less, but this is only mildly spicy)

If you don't have cracked rosemary, start by putting the rosemary in the food processor with a steel blade and buzzing it for 2-3 minutes, until all the dried rosemary leaves are broken into small bits. Then add other ingredients and process about 30 seconds, until ingredients seem well combined. This should be stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid if you're keeping some for yourself.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"No Nightmare Beef Wellington"

6 preformed frozen puff pastry cups
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 (4-ounce) beef fillets
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Duxelles, recipe follows Spinach, recipe follows
Wine Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lay the puff cups on a baking sheet making sure the cups are not touching each other by at least an inch on all sides. Bake per packaging instructions.

Heat a large oven safe skillet over high heat, add the oil. With paper towels remove all excess moisture from the outside of the beef, season the beef liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. When the oil begins to smoke, lay the beef fillets gently in pan, making sure the fillets are not touching. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, then put the pan in the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes for medium rare.

Cut the puff cup in half and place the bottom half in the center of the serving plate lay a spoonful of spinach in the middle of the puff, top the spinach with of the fillets. Lay a spoonful of duxelles on top of the fillet and cap it off with the top of the puff pastry. Drizzle the plate with a tablespoon of the wine sauce.

1 1/2 pounds sliced button mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
1/4 cup liver pate
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

Add the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until they are extra-finely chopped. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Once the butter has melted add the mushrooms and large pinch of salt, continue to cook the mixture, stirring often until the most of the mushroom moisture has evaporated. Add the thyme and melt in liver pate. Check for seasoning.

Spinach: 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 bags pre-washed baby spinach Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. In a large pan heat the butter over medium heat, once the butter has melted add the spinach and a pinch of salt, cook until the leaves have wilted.

Wine Sauce:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup sugar

In a medium sauce pot, over high heat, add all the sauce ingredients. Cook until the liquid is reduced to 3/4 of a cup.

Recipe courtesy Shane Lyons and Kelsey Nixon
See this recipe on air Sunday Jul. 06 at 7:00 PM ET/PT.
The Next Food Network Star
Episode: Enticing and Easy with Bon Appetit

Chicken Marsala

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/4" thin
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup milk
3/4 cup marsala wine
1 cup sliced mushrooms

In large saute or fry pan, melt butter. While butter is melting, combine flour, salt and pepper in small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in milk; shake off excess. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and add to fry pan. (I like to cut chicken breasts in half before coating.)

Saute chicken in butter over medium to medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, turning often. Add more butter as needed. (Be careful turning chicken so as not to break off any of the flour coating.)

Remove chicken from pan and place on platter. Keep chicken warm while making the sauce.

Turn heat to medium high and add the mushrooms; saute until cooked. With mushrooms still in the pan, deglaze with the wine, stirring to get all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium low and continue to cook sauce, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly.

(Note: Sauce should be tasted frequently, and more wine or butter can be added as necessary. If sauce does not thicken properly, add a little bit of flour and continue to stir.)

When sauce is ready, add chicken back to the pan and turn to coat.

Remove chicken to serving platter and top with remaining sauce.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Next Food Network Star - Update

I apologize for being late with this recap. It has been hectic around here the last few days.

This week on the Next Food Network Star the six remaining finalists were challenged by Chef Cat Cora. She had them each make a dish with six surprise ingredients and then describe it to the camera. They had to describe the taste and smell for the home viewers. They all thought they would be describing their own dish. Instead Chef Cora told them to swap dishes and describe another dish they did not make.

Adam did good but tried taking too big of a bite and had to still talk to the camera. Jen called the Udon Noodles, Linguine. Aaron tasted his dish for the first 60 seconds before even talking to the camera.

For the main challenge they were paired off and had to recreate a notoriously complicated dish with a long prep and cook time and recreate it in 45 minutes or less. The winners got their dish published in Bon Appetit. Shane and Kelsey won the mini challenge so the were awarded their choice of the three dishes. They chose the Beef Wellington for themselves and the Turduken for Lisa and Jennifer. That left the Coq Au Von for Adam and Aaron.

Jennifer broke a bottle of Apricot juice on the grill which meant they had to throw all the food on there away which really hurt her. Lisa surprisingly did not blame or give Jen a hard time which made Lisa look a little better in the judge's eyes.

Adam and Aaron did not do anything close to Coq Au Von. Granted they had the right ingredients but just did not come close as far as the judges were concerned. Shane and Kelsey almost blew away the judges with their No Nightmare Beef Wellington. The only concern was the way the dish looked the browns of the main dish and the whiteness of Shane's Creamy Pearl Onions. However that was not enough to cost Shane and Kelsey the win for that challenge.

The Judges later told Adam he is only there based on his personality and Bobby Flay told him he is on very very thin ice. Jennifer was the one that had to leave. It might be me but I am glad she is gone because every time I watched her presentations I felt embarrassed for her. It almost seemed she was in over her head.

Next week we have the finalists appearing on the Rachael Ray show making a meal for some girl scouts. Form the preview Lisa is trying to get her girl to eat couscous or a horseradish sauce. That should prove to be interesting!